Khaptad Chhededaha starts distributing social security allowance from ward officesService initiated as senior citizens, people with disabilities from remote areas had to walk for hours to reach nearest bank.
Basanta Pratap Singh
Khaptad Chhededaha Rural Municipality of Bajura district has started distributing social security allowance from its ward offices.
The municipality, in collaboration with financial institutions, has arranged to distribute the allowance from its ward offices as senior citizens and disabled people from remote areas had to walk for hours to reach the nearest bank in the municipality.
"The Himalayan Bank located in Khaptad Chhededaha will conduct mobile camps every three months in every ward to distribute social security allowances. The elderly and the disabled will not have to walk for hours to receive their allowance now,” said Dil Bahadur Rawat, chairman of Khaptad Chhededaha Rural Municipality.
Kiran Rijal, branch manager of the Himalayan Bank in Chhededaha, said that the institution started its mobile services from Wednesday.
“This is the first time that we have started such a service in the district and the beneficiaries seem very happy about it,” said Rijal. “I believe that banks in other municipalities of Bajura will also follow suit.”
To receive the service, the ward offices have to provide the details and account numbers of those who cannot walk to the bank. The bank then reconfirms the identification of the beneficiaries before providing them with the allowance.
In April, an on-the-ground report was published in The Kathmandu Post about the elderly and disabled people of Bajura having to walk for two to three days to get their social security allowance. It was found that many of the beneficiaries had stopped receiving their allowance because they could not walk.
With the start of the mobile camp services, the beneficiaries will not have to go through all the hardship to receive their allowance anymore. They have expressed their gratitude to the people's representatives and the employees of the bank and municipality office.
Ninety-four-year-old Kari Rawat was one of those who had stopped collecting their allowance as he could not walk.
“Now, I can get my allowance in my own village. I am very happy with this new arrangement,” he said.
Krishnaraj Joshi, the chief administrative officer of the municipality, said that there are up to 120 elderly and disabled people in the seven wards of the municipality who cannot walk.
“The bank’s effort to distribute the allowance in the ward for the ease of people is commendable,” said Joshi.
The bank also provides online services but since there is no internet connection in the rural areas, the service cannot be activated, Joshi said.
Senior citizens in Himali Rural Municipality, another local unit in Bajura, have to go through twice the trouble to receive their allowances since the far-flung villages are at least a day’s walk away from the nearest bank. The beneficiaries from Gumba, Bamu, Baudi, Paudi, Kiudi and Bichchhya, among other settlements in the local unit, have to walk for days to reach the nearest bank in Kawadi and walk as many days to return home. Around 3,000 people receive social security allowances in Himali Rural Municipality.
Senior citizens and the disabled people in almost all villages of the nine local units in Bajura have to face the same ordeal to receive the social security allowances.